What Can You Do To Make an Old Home More Energy Efficient?
If you follow the lifestyle, home improvement, and real estate blogs and magazines, you might have come across a fairly new concept called “High-Performance Homes.”
A high-performance home is an energy-efficient home. High-performance homes don’t have to be the new ones only. Even the old ones can work this way. So, what can you do to make an old home more energy efficient and stop paying those crazy energy bills?
If you check out thehighperformancehome.com, they share helpful tips that can help you turn an old home into a more efficient modern abode. There are hundreds of things to do to save money on energy bills in your home. But since you can’t do everything, here are some tips to make your old home more energy efficient:
Start With the Basics
Even before you think of remodeling an old home to a high-performance one, start with the basics. Because the older appliances were so well built, they lasted a long time. That is why you still have that ancient refrigerator. Unfortunately, these appliances were not energy efficient at all.
Thus, even before you start replacing the HVAC system, and the insulation, start with the simple things. Check the bulbs that you are using in all rooms. If they are not LED, swap them fast. Incandescent bulbs are energy guzzlers and they can rack up the energy bill a good one. LED bulbs consume 90 percent less energy than their fluorescent and incandescent counterparts. They also last longer, some up to 25 years!
Replace those Old Appliances
Check your kitchen, and other appliances, including humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers, and more. The old fridge that you inherited from your grandma could be denting your wallet every month.
Check other appliances as well. If they do not have the “Energy Star” label, replace them. They are gulping electricity. Unfortunately, no one wants to buy the old appliances anymore. Everyone wants to save money. Thus, it is the recycling center for them. This also applies to induction cookers, the range, regular, and steam ovens. Check out the Energy Star website to see which appliances they recommend.
Replace the Entire HVAC System
HVAC systems continue to lose their efficiency with time. If you have an old house and the HVAC system has never been replaced, perhaps it is time.
These systems last between 10 and 25 years. If you doubt, you can email the manufacturer and ask them whether it is time to replace the system. You could also ask the technician the next time he comes to repair it.
Outdated HVAC systems account for almost 50 percent of your energy bill. Replace it and then give the new one proper care and maintenance. Dirty HVAC filters can affect its performance and cause the system to work harder than it should, consuming more power.
Reseal the Windows and Doors
The smallest gaps in the windows and door seals that you have been ignoring for so long contribute a lot to the rising energy bills. This is why you must reseal the windows and the doors. If there is even the smallest gap, the cold draft from outside will pass through and get into your house. This will cause the heat to stay on longer than it should.
Consider Changing to Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors
There are windows that come with a film that absorbs any available heat from the outside during the cold season and passes it inside. Likewise, during the hot seasons, it keeps the cool air inside. Consider using fiberglass window frames because of their energy conservation abilities.
Doors that come with fiberglass exteriors are also good at preserving energy because they do not conduct heat. Since it might not make sense to change the windows and doors if they are in good shape, you could just reseal them properly.
Go the Solar Way
Change all of your outdoor lightings from electrical to solar. It will save you hundreds of dollars every month in energy bills. Buying and installing rooftop solar panels will not be cheap. But you will recoup all that money. You can have free lighting for the next 20 to 30 years.
In a big home, you cannot rely on solar power alone. However, using solar part of the way cuts your energy bills by a big margin. Instead of using electric gate pillar lights, driveway lights, landscaping lights, and garden string lights, get solar-powered ones. You get the benefit of lights that stay outside throughout the year, turn on and off automatically and last a long time.
Upgrade your electrical system
If your home is decades old, the electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and other systems are just as old. Perhaps a home renovation is due. The electrical system of your home is very important. All of the systems run on it. But it too needs an upgrade to become more energy-efficient.
Your old home has a grand design, as most old homes are. Their only problem is that they cost too much to maintain, as they are not energy efficient. But that’s something you can change with the tips you have read here.
Make no mistake about it … upgrading from an old to a high-performance home will cost a lot of money. Start by changing one thing at a time. For instance, you might replace the HVAC system first. It takes a big chunk of money in energy bills. The next time, change the kitchen appliances to Energy Star rated ones.
If you take things easy, you will save more money. Above everything else, clean and maintain the existing systems, such as the furnace, chimneys, HVAC, and others. Clean systems consume less energy.